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An exceptionally fine & unusual William IV silver gilt Travelling Inkwell, of large size, made in London in 1829 by Reilly & Storer.


The Travelling Inkwell is a quite exceptional example of an unusually large size. With a square form, it is decoarted with a reeded band below a chased band of foliate details. The hinged oval cover is also decorated with the same foliate band as seen on the main body and the screw mechanism is modelled as a raying Rococo shell. The top of the cover is die stamped with an outstanding Armorial, with motto below, and the Coronet of a Viscount above. The Arms are surrounded by a cartouche of detailed drapery mantling. The cover opens up to reveal it original glass interior inkwell. This piece is in excellent condition and is of outstanding quality.

The Armorial and Motto are those of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Heron Jones, 7th Viscount Ranelagh KCB, 1812-1885. He was known as an enthusiastic supporter of the movement to create a volunteer army, which had arisen from fears of a French invasion. He created and commanded the 2nd South Middlesex Rifle Volunteers in 1859, the nucleus of which was formed from members of the Ranelagh Yacht Club. The Viscount was also known for his links to glamourous women of the period, noably the Pre-Raphaelite model, Annie Miller and the actress Lillie Langtry. He was responsible for introducing Langry to London High Society. In her own words, he completely changed the current of my life.

This piece is without doubt the finest and most unusual travelling Inkwell we have seen over all of the years. It must have been, without doubt, a special commission by the Viscount.

Height: 2.2 inches, 5.5cm.

Diagonal Diameter of base:3.5 inches, 8.75cm.